Screenwriting : Screenwriting by Jeremiah Warren

Jeremiah Warren

Screenwriting

Looking for good software that may be faster than using standard word programs. Can anyone please make a recommendation?

Jim Merchant

Although I don't do a lot of screenwriting, when I do I use Celtx. It is amazing how fast and intuitive it is once you get used to it, and best of all it's free.

Shanika Freeman

Final Draft is a great program, but if you can not kick out a few bucks-I will definitely go with Celtx! Celtx is user friendly, mobile friendly, fast, and just a great product(and it's free).

Philip Sedgwick

Ultimately a lot of folks will go on about Final Draft. I have and use FD and Movie Magic Screenwriter. With a bunch of screenplays behind me, Movie Magic is better in my mind.

Bob Saenz

The Industry uses two programs. Final Draft and MovieMagic. PDF's are great if you are sending a script for people to consider to option or for a writing sample and both programs have one button conversions to PDF. I would never send anything else for those purposes, certainly not a rewritable program. I own both programs because you never know on a writing assignment which one your employer prefers and I've used both on write for hire or rewrite jobs. The student versions (which anyone can buy) are fairly reasonable and a good investment. But if you're new and you'd like the one that's easiest to use, I agree with Philip... MovieMagic is the better program.

Philip Sedgwick

Movie Magic indeed. While they say FD is the industry standard, Movie Magic claims more academy award scripts... not that the software had anything to do with the talent using it. Here's to smooth file recovery, Lyse. And here's to great success and progress for all on Stage 32 in 2013, especially the writers!

Michael Dougal

I use Movie Magic and always have. Love it. I did however start out with Celtic a free script writing program https://www.celtx.com Also I use Dramatica to work out the story.

Georgia Hilton

FWIW... i use screenwriter Pro.... never ( knock on wood ) had any issues... written a number of script with it.

Gabrielle Darque

Have you ever heard of Celtx? Google it, and click on the second down, download.com or something, look for the big green download button and press it! I love this software, and it's free!

Norman Ray Fitts

I've use Final Draft and Celtx. The one thing the screenwriting software does for you that the word processor doesn't is handle the end of the pages. If dialogue is broken it formats it for you and if that dialogue winds up in the middle of a page after a change it puts it back together for you.

Thaddeus Jones

Final draft can do a lot, as can celtix. To me the major difference is price, and ease of use. Celtix is far more intuitive to use but Final Draft is going to help by providing other tools for organization and formatting that you might otherwise miss.

Julian Nabunya

celtx free download , beter than word at least

Neil Jeffery

I use Celtx - gives me all I need - it autoformats and generates an index card of all the scenes in my screenplay

Peter Campbell

Used Movie Magic Screenwriter for years. However, was recently introduced to celtx -- quite impressed.

Benjamin Estep

CeltX is the 'top of the line' program used from screenwriting and playwriting. You can download it off the web for free. I always use it for writing my 2nd draft scripts before making my short films. It's a lot of fun and nifty to use.

John Young

Final Draft is a good investment in my opinion. I'd say one of the better features (and I'm not sure if you can do this with other software) would be the fact you can register your work; right after completion, to the WGA.

Dave Merlino

I have used Final Draft for years and have no problem with it. I have heard good things about Celtix but the bottom line is that Final Draft is industry standard. I was at the World Screenwriter's Conference in October and I sat in more than one seminar where panels of producers, agents and managers said they have never picked up a script from Celtix because it doesn't look right, is hard to transfer to what they want to work in and it screams amateur to them. I am not saying people who use it are amateurs, far from it, I am just passing on what they said, unsolicited.

Bob Saenz

Dave is exactly right. Celtx may be a wonderful program, but I don't know a single producer or production company that would accept a script in Celtx. Final Draft and MovieMagic are the programs of choice. To learn, yes, Celtx is fine. To option or sell... You need to invest in FD or MM.

Patrick Stephan Marshall

I know of several bigger writers, directors and producers who use celtx. Plenty of TV shows are written with it too, because it has an online cloud, edit and share function - which makes it easy to share if you need to. Celtx may not have a big name as FD, but it is in many ways much more useful and easier to use. And next to being a good writers tool (for all sorts of script formats, screenplays being just one of them), it is great as a database, production management and scheduling. You can break down scenes, create individual items in your breakdown, which automatically fill your database and when you want to print of a shot or scene list, celtx includes all the details automatically. I used FD, MM and others. I stick to celtx, for functionality. Also, celtx offer a range of mobile apps that can be used in combination with the desktop and cloud version. I like it so much so, that I descided recently that I will give a seminar on the extended use of celtx and its mobile apps (beyond the writing functions) and just got in talks with the folks of celtx (might make an online seminar even). Did I mention that the standard celtx version is free? Besides, I would NEVER give anybody who is not directly involved in the script development the raw data file. That is what PDFs are for.

James Jackson

I'm going to agree with Patrick on this one. I use Celtx heavily throughout production and while FD is a fine program it doesn't do half the stuff I need it to as a producer and director. I've also been promoting the use of celtx and creation of celtx classes in several colleges I work with here in Philadelphia.

John Gwinner

The problem with Celtx is that the pagination isn't really correct. I had a discussion with the developer about that and he basically had the attitude "you don't understand how this has to be programmed." I actually AM a programmer (and a good one), but the bottom line is as the FD guy said "You have to pay to get pagination". If I sent a spec script that had the wrong page count ... being an unknown author, it could die. Scrivener has a screenwriting module, but I haven't used it much. The 'tab for dialog' key in FD, Celtx, and my favorite Sophocles (now dead, but you can't pry it out of my fingers) all do that kind of stuff (auto-slug lines) that make writing easy. == John ==

Dave Merlino

I didn't say Celtix was a bad program, and I don't think it is, but it depends on what your career goals are. If you are focused more on your own productions, then by all means use it. If you want to get a manager or agent and work in what is left of the traditional studio system, I am only passing on what I have been told from the players themselves. A script in Celtix is a strike in their book and you don't want to give them any more excuses to pass on your script, or put them in the mindset from the beginning that they will not like your script.

Andrew Flynn

Final Draft is the standard, and it is the best.

Patrick Stephan Marshall

PLEASE do not spread this useless notion. THERE ARE NO STANDARDS! This is one of the youngest art forms and you as a creator dictate the rules. If you let a suit define your work and then by the most ridiculous parameters - i.e. standards - be my guest, but I will not. There may be some standards for this or that agent, production house, or even one or another guild. But these standards were defined by people like you and I and they have no other claim to be true than us. Great scripts have been written on used paper, with pens and typewriters, with computers and ipads. In the end, there is a certain formating structure that translates well (for english) into time on screen per page, but that's it. Almost everybody will accept PDF and if their criteria to read your script is based on what program you have used to write it, I advice you against working with those people, for they will have no interest in your interests at all. BTW what version have you been trying Dave? I had no problem with pagination myself.

John Gwinner

Almost any version of Celtix - what you see on the screen is not quite what you get when you print when it comes to page numbers. My script showed 110 and I was getting all excited, until I went to print and it popped out at 122. Doh! Makes it tough to pull under that magic cap. You can't give anyone an excuse to reject your script.

James Jackson

both Andrew F and John G are just flat out wrong. Celtx produces the same exact PDF with the same exact script that FD would. Same tabs, same spacing, same margins. The PDF produced by Celtx prints exactly as it shows on screen (there's no way for it not to).

John Gwinner

I just opened up a vomit draft. The last page was 172 on the 'Script' tab. I went to "TypeSet/PDF" and it says 185. This was version 2.9 when I purchased FD. Don't get me wrong, I recommend Celtx all the time, but each tool has it's advantages and weaknesses.

John Gwinner

As far as flat out wrong - I never said the PDF shows differently on screen than the PDF prints. I said what you see on the screen (the Script tab) shows differently when you print (Typeset/PDF). I prefer a WYSIWYG. YMMD.

Dave Merlino

I thought I had been pretty clear, but I guess I need to spell it out for you, I DON"T CARE WHAT YOU USE!. I did not bring up pagination, nor did I trash Celtix in any way. But I do not find what I said to be a useless notion. When I have sat in the rooms and watched as managers, agents, producers and executives of various levels say they do not like Celtix scripts and they bring a bad connotation to their mind, I listen. This was unsolicited by the way, they made special point to bring it up themselves. I do not defend their prejudice, but I don't try to fight it. To answer your question, I have used both Movie Magic and Final Draft. I liked FD better and have used it for five years now. Is it perfect? No, it's not. I'm not even going to pretend that it is, but I know it is accepted by everyone so I'm sticking with it. If you want to walk away from someone based off what they like in programs, more power to you. I'm not going to try and change your mind. It's your career, run it how you want. I, myself, am not willing to cut out major houses based off a program. If Realm Literary tells me they want the script on a napkin, I'll write it on a napkin. If Benderspink or CAA tells me they don't like FD, I'll be on Movie Magic that afternoon to submit it. Fanciful points? Yes. But that is what I have been told about Celtix. Again, I don't care what people use, nor am I totally in love with any program. I do not hate Celtix. I am not saying it is bad. I am only passing on what I have been told. You can do with it whatever you want.

Patrick Stephan Marshall

There is an option in celtx you have to set, to choose the right paper size. US uses US letter whereas EU usually uses A4. And you have to set it in celtx when you go to the PDF markup tab. Because that calculates exactly that. And it sounds like a common mistake.

Andrew Flynn

Final Draft isn't the answer and end-all be-all to screenwriting. It's just what I know works the best. Celtx is a fine program, as is Movie Magic. From the professionals I've learned from, Final Draft IS the standard. So don't tell me there ISN'T a standard, that's just nonsense.

Patrick Stephan Marshall

It may be the standard of the professionals that taught you, but that's it. That does not make it the standard of the industry or anybody else.

JB Bruno

The original question asked about a faster program than a Word template. Celtix is faster. I have done a lot of script doctoring and rewrites for people. Almost exclusively, the scripts are in Final Draft. If you are only writing the script for yourself and your own short, Celtix is fine. If you plan on writing as a profession, Final Draft is a necessary investment.

richard rebiere

Final Draft 8 is the industry standard for a writer. It is true some use Movie magic but nowhere to the extent that FD is used and most studios will only accept FD and in certain formats. So if you are looking for something that you have to spend money on FD version 8 is what you want. You can get it from the Writer's Store and I think you get a 10% discount for being a member of Stage 32. Good luck with it.

Philip Sedgwick

It's simply not true that most studios will only accept FD. I have never had a script rejected for Movie Magic format, nor have I ever been told the script must be FD. And I am always told that my scripts are clean, precise and visually easy to read (not to mention brilliant). The "industry standard" is a talking point started by FD. I have worked with folks that use FD, so I used it when working with them. If you're a pro, have both. Use the one you like. I write in MMS and it's an easy flip to FD... but FD to MMS not easy at all. From the Write Brothers website: We are the only company to win an Academy Technical Achievement Award for screenwriting software. Movie Magic Screenwriter 6 is a preferred file format of WGA, West. Both points confirming that FD is the industry standard (irony intended). As I mentioned in my first post, many will tout the "industry standard" claim of Final Draft. Again and bottom line, have both softwares and use what works best for you. For me, hands down, it's Movie Magic.

richard rebiere

Each package has various templates for different studios and it is these templates I was referring too. I would think both MMS and FD both have them for obvious reasons. True it is better to have both if you do not have to choose, but if you do, then I suppose one would have to do their homework and see which application works best for that person. Like you I have a preference and it would be FD ver. 8 along with Save the Cat, and a couple of other programs. I believe that MM started out as budgeting and scheduling package and then later brought on the scriptwriting application. Again this is all about preference and if industry numbers speak Final Draft would be the clear favorite.

Philip Sedgwick

Okay, how about a study? How many have used both? Which do they prefer? Objectively, it cannot be preferred if other options have not been tested, hmm? I've used both. MMS is easier to use, faster to use and has a superior help feature. This clear favorite/industry standard is a statement, not a proved statistical truth. Advertising roots its way into the psyche easily doesn't it? I still believe more doctors prefer Camels than any other brand.

richard rebiere

Well the only thing I can agree with you on is that it is personal preference as to which one you want to use and if you can get both do so. In working with studios using FD one has to be cognizant of using the correct template for each studio as they have different criteria for their script formats. FD has a multitude of these templates as does MMS and it was these templates that I was referring to earlier. As you do, I too have a preference and it would be FD-8. Not saying one is better than the other just my preference. I would say that FD is in far greater use than MMS is as a script writing software package. I have produced shows using both and in the end I much prefer Final Draft. The important thing is that if you want to write scripts, just do your homework and evaluate which one will deliver in the way that best works for you, and then write your tail off.

Philip Sedgwick

Yep, save your pennies, buy both and use the one you prefer or what is mandated by project. And totally write your tail off and fingers to the knuckles.

Victor Stapelberg

As you aren't asking for a Script software but a standard word software I use the 100% FREE Open source "Libre Office" previously called "Open Office" all Linux users will know it. It's free and does much more than Word and comes in any of choice of language and works 99.99% like Office and works in any Window OS. http://www.libreoffice.org/download/

Victor Stapelberg

Here are links to 100% Free screen writing software http://openrelish.blogspot.ca/2012/01/screenwriting-software.html

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